One more photo of the front of the refinished Lane Rhythm dresser. We love the way this project turned out. January 2019.

Lane Rhythm 6-Drawer Dresser

Lane Rhythm 6-drawer dresser, pre-restoration, September 2018.
Lane Rhythm 6-drawer dresser, pre-restoration, September 2018.

Back in September, we purchased a Lane Rhythm 6-drawer dresser that was in pretty tough shape with the intent to restore it.

Here are a number of photos showing the damage to the piece. We keep waiting to find a wad of money forgotten behind the drawers of a dresser we rescue, but this dresser just had lots of random papers and plenty of mouse droppings. Not quite the treasure we were hoping for.

Top of the Lane Rhythm dresser. Note the scratches and loss of finish. September 2018.
Top of the Lane Rhythm dresser. Note the scratches and loss of finish. September 2018.

 

There's a loss of finish on the front of the Lane Rhythm dresser, too. September 2018.
There’s a loss of finish on the front of the Lane Rhythm dresser, too. September 2018.

 

Miscellaneous garbage left behind in the Lane Rhythm dresser. September 2018.
Miscellaneous garbage left behind in the Lane Rhythm dresser. September 2018.

 

Mouse midden pile and droppings in the dresser. September 2018.
Mouse midden pile and droppings in the dresser. September 2018.

 

As we cleaned the dresser, we wore gloves and masks due to the mouse droppings. Here Erik is using compressed air to blow the detritus out of a drawer. September 2018.
As we cleaned the dresser, we wore gloves and masks due to the mouse droppings. Here Erik is using compressed air to blow the detritus out of a drawer. September 2018.

 

As we removed the drawers in order to clean the inside of the case, we numbered each one and its corresponding location using blue painter's tape and a Sharpie marker. September 2018.
As we removed the drawers in order to clean the inside of the case, we numbered each one and its corresponding location using blue painter’s tape and a Sharpie marker. September 2018.

 

We have refinished a couple of other Lane Rhythm lowboy dressers in the past. Each one has had the same design flaw - the dresser develops what we call a sway back. Due to the span and not enough support, the entire dresser droops in the center, so it is no longer level. September 2018.
We have refinished a couple of other Lane Rhythm lowboy dressers in the past. Each one has had the same design flaw – the dresser develops what we call a sway back. Due to the span and not enough support, the entire dresser droops in the center, so it is no longer level. September 2018.

 

Here is the dresser case without drawers after cleaning. Large dressers are much easier to move with the drawers taken out. September 2018.
Here is the dresser case without drawers after cleaning. Large dressers are much easier to move with the drawers taken out. September 2018.

 

Once we got the dresser case into the shop, we put it on the work table with its top down. This allowed us to see the droop more clearly. See the white line beneath the dresser? That's light showing through indicating how the entire piece has sagged over time. September 2018.
Once we got the dresser case into the shop, we put it on the work table with its top down. This allowed us to see the droop more clearly. See the white line beneath the dresser? That’s light showing through indicating how the entire piece has sagged over time. September 2018.

 

In order to try to fix the Lane Rhythm dresser droop, Erik first clamped it and attempted to attach a piece of angle iron to the bottom to pull the dresser into place. The hope was that the angle iron would both straighten the dresser and support it so it wouldn't sag again. No such luck. The droop was so ingrained in the piece that when it was unclamped, the angle iron bent. September 2018.
In order to try to fix the Lane Rhythm dresser droop, Erik first clamped it and attempted to attach a piece of angle iron to the bottom to pull the dresser into place. The hope was that the angle iron would both straighten the dresser and support it so it wouldn’t sag again. No such luck. The droop was so ingrained in the piece that when it was unclamped, the angle iron bent. September 2018.

 

In order to make the refinishing process easier, Erik will disassemble furniture. Here is in removing the back. He also removed the top of the Lane Rhythm dresser and refinished it separately from the rest of the case. September 2018.
In order to make the refinishing process easier, Erik will disassemble furniture. Here is in removing the back. He also removed the top of the Lane Rhythm dresser and refinished it separately from the rest of the case. September 2018.

Fast-forward a few months …

Notice the wall framing in the above photo. When we brought this dresser to the shop, we didn’t have our new shop space completed. As we let the Lane Rhythm dresser sit, we spent several months building out the shop. Once the shop was complete, we returned to the dresser this past week to finish it.

Lane Rhythm dresser stripped, sanded, and awaiting stain. January 2019.
Lane Rhythm dresser stripped, sanded, and awaiting stain. January 2019.

 

The finished Lane Rhythm 6-drawer dresser. See the extra leg in the bottom middle? That was Erik's solution for the sway-back ... add an extra leg to provide more support. January 2019.
The finished Lane Rhythm 6-drawer dresser. See the extra leg in the bottom middle? That was Erik’s solution for the sway-back … add an extra leg to provide more support. See the wall behind the dresser? This was the same wall that was merely framing back in September. January 2019.

 

Top of the newly refinished Lane dresser. It's a far cry from what we started with, eh? January 2019.
Top of the newly refinished Lane dresser. It’s a far cry from what we started with, eh? January 2019.

 

All the drawers were scrubbed to within an inch of their lives, plus we add new drawer liners. January 2019.
All the drawers were scrubbed to within an inch of their lives, plus we add new drawer liners. January 2019.

 

One more photo of the front of the refinished Lane Rhythm dresser. We love the way this project turned out. January 2019.
One more photo of the front of the refinished Lane Rhythm dresser. We love the way this project turned out. January 2019.

Measurements on the Lane Rhythm 6-drawer dresser, in case you’re wondering are: 61″ long, 31″ high, 18″ deep.

A Day for Staining Tables

Erik is in the middle of a refinishing project for a client. He is working on two tables in oak, a material he doesn’t usually refinish because most modern furniture seems to come in walnut or teak veneer.

The client wanted a change from the golden oak look, so Erik had her pick a stain color she liked. Yesterday, we spent the day staining the various pieces from the tables. (Erik disassembles as much as he can with furniture because it makes each part of the job easier.)

Here are some photos of the tables after the original finish was removed and the pieces were sanded, followed by the pieces stained.

Table legs and skirt awaiting stain. May 2018.
Table legs and skirt awaiting stain. May 2018.

 

Table legs and skirt after being stained. May 2018.
Table legs and skirt after being stained. May 2018.

 

Table top with stain still wet. May 2018.
Table top with stain still wet. May 2018.

 

The other oak table top awaiting stain. May 2018.
The other oak table top awaiting stain. May 2018.

 

The other oak table top with stain. May 2018.
The other oak table top with stain. May 2018.

 

Mid-Century Modern Dresser of Unknown Origin

9-drawer mid-century modern dresser, May 2018.
9-drawer mid-century modern dresser, May 2018.

Erik’s most recent restoration project was this 9-drawer, mid-century modern dresser of unknown origin.

We’re always a little frustrated by piece of furniture that don’t identify themselves. Normally, the manufacturer puts a brand or label in one of the upper drawers. Not so with this piece, so we can’t figure out who designed or manufacturer it.

Still, it makes for a lovely, mid-century dresser with lots of room. It measures 60 1/4″ wide x 17 1/2″ deep x 30 1/2″ high.

When we picked it up, the dresser was in rough shape, with very wobbly legs. Erik has created reinforcement pieces for the bottom sides. He also inserted a new board on the lower bottom, between the legs, salvaging the trim piece from the old board so that the design of the dresser would remain intact. With these fixes, the dresser is now sturdy. No more leg wobble.

This dresser is now available at MidModMen+friends in St. Paul, MN.

Side view of 9-drawer mid-century modern dresser. The piece of wood between the legs was added by Erik to stabilize the structure. May 2018.
Side view of 9-drawer mid-century modern dresser. The piece of wood between the legs was added by Erik to stabilize the structure. May 2018.
9-drawer mid-century modern dresser, view of new piece of wood with salvaged trim on the front bottom (between the legs). May 2018.
9-drawer mid-century modern dresser, view of new piece of wood with salvaged trim on the front bottom (between the legs). May 2018.